Eight Pounds of L.A.


Taschen's new coffee table title, "Los Angeles: Portrait of a City," weights in at eight pounds and features content as strong, soaring, and memorable as the Muscle Beach acrobats on the book's hardcover.

Edited by the inimitable Jim Heimann, "Portrait" is 571 pages worth of photos and captions of the city since 1862 and it's metropolitan surroundings.

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Brief essays by Kevin Starr offer context and chronological breaks.

The publisher's web site offers links for purchasing, as well as photos of some of the bold-faced names who attended the book launch party last Thursday, held at and around Taschen's U.S. headquarters, at the Crossroads of the World, in Hollywood.

The launch party benefitted the L.A. Conservancy. Ubiquitous City Councilmember Tom LaBonge told preservationist Diane Keaton he would go see "Father Mike" to atone for the sins of allowing buildings in town to be torn down.

Rodney on the Rock walked the grounds. "Ask" Chris Nichols held court. Charles Phoenix, Gary Leonard, Howard Bingham, John Rabe, and Book Soup's Tyson Cornell were all there.

As was, of course, "the irreplaceable" Nina Wiener -- as Heimann** aptly labels his Taschen colleague (and TTLA pal) in "Portrait's" acknowledgments. Authors and journalists Andrea Richards, Teena Apeles, and Alissa Walker were each there, too.

Speaking of writers -- and lost cultural treasures -- Los Angeles, we never should have let Brendan Bernhard leave town. Here's an archival piece from the masterful stylist, about Benedikt Taschen.

Again, more about "Portrait" is here.

*Yeah, we know -- eight pounds is nothing by Taschen's multi-lingual, completist standards. And hey, the magic book and the Mailer / Aldrin moon book are both out now, too.

**TTLA's request for the second edition -- how about a shot of RAND, or JPL?

Disclosure: TTLA's blogger is a big fan of Jim Heimann and twice invited him to lecture at a previous job.

Photo Credit: The image accompanying this post was taken by Flickr user omar omar. It was used under Creative Commons license.

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